PEKANBARU (EoF News) — Indonesian NGOs today published a joint press release and open letter calling buyers and investors of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) to stop doing business with the giant pulp & paper producer operating in Indonesia and China. The NGOs urged APP to stop the destruction of natural forests and peatlands, respect community rights and tenure, resolve existing disputes and retract misleading statements about their low carbon footprint.
The media release and open letter came out as the environmental groups rejected the sustainability and environmental claims APP made today (10/03/2010) at the 12th Annual RISI pulp paper conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
While APP continues its greenwashing PR efforts, the company keeps pulping wood from natural forest, clearcut at a speed un-imaginable in any other country. EoF today published recent pictures of large amount of natural forest wood waiting to be unloaded at harbor of the APP’s pulp mill in Riau and also pictures showing large area of good natural forest in Bukit Tigapuluh landscape being cleared in a concession of PT. Artelindo Wiratama, an APP associated company.
The area where the concession is located is also a part of Serangge, a large Sumatran elephant population range, and also close to the location where Sumatran tigers were caught by video trap last year.
Based on annual cutting license PT. Artelindo Wiratama obtained last year RKT number 15/BPHT-3/2009 dated 15 April 2009 around 3,600 hectares of natural forest in dry lowland tropical forest has already been cleared. It will likely escalate threats to Sumatran tigers and elephants as well as human – wildlife conflict in the area. Two indigenous tribes live near Bukit Tigapuluh landscape, Talang Mamak and Orang Rimba, could face difficulty to survive as their forest continues to shrink, see CNN video in 2008 at http://www.savesumatra.org/index.php/newspublications/video/10
EoF’s quick observation found that although the annual cutting license for 2009 expired on 31st December 2009, the APP’s associated company continued to clear the forest by February 2010. It is allegedly against the regulation stipulated by the Government on annual cutting license (RKT).